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The ‘New Normal’ in China’s recruitment industry


Updated: 19 Jan 2016

Recruiters are no longer charged solely with connecting the right person to the right job. In China’s recruitment industry today, the ‘new normal’ for recruiters is to provide service, education and insight to enhance a customer’s experience and help them make informed recruitment decisions.

It’s a big change, but one that the industry has quickly adapted to.

Simon Lance, Regional Director of recruiting experts Hays in China, says the evolution was natural for Hays. “For a long time, many businesses simply challenged recruiting firms to ‘find more people’. We were often incorrectly seen as a CV forwarding machine, and it was thought that recruiters could only compete in the market if they possessed a strong database. That’s all changed now.

“With the evolution of the world of work, the ‘new normal’ for the recruitment industry is as a provider of service and added value. From educating and inspiring potential candidates to promoting a compelling employer brand, building engaging talent communities, creating a highly effective and targeted approach to talent acquisition and sharing our expertise, we’re having a huge positive impact on people’s lives and business operations.

“That’s why our aim is always to create valuable relationships with everyone we work with, and we share our expertise of the industry sectors and professions we recruit for with our clients, candidates and across our expanding global network.

“We’re always curious, wanting to understand more about people and the world of work. That’s how we build deeper knowledge into what makes people fit culturally and how companies and people can achieve their full potential.

“Recruitment’s ‘new normal’ is an exciting evolution for the industry,” he said.

As evidence of their success in China’s ‘new normal’, Hays were recently awarded the Best Talent Search Service Provider in Great China, by HRoot (China’s leading human recourse media company). The key factor in winning this award was Hays’ overall contribution to their clients’ businesses and the overall industry.

“In our case, in addition to successful candidate placements for our clients, we employ a ‘specialist’ business model and develop deep expertise in each of the industries we recruit for.

“We then share this expertise with our clients and candidates through our thought-leadership, which includes our annual Hays Asia Salary Guide, our Hays Global Skills Index, our bi-annual Hays Journal, and our recent research report on what it takes to bring overseas Chinese back home. Our CEO Alistair Cox is also in the privileged position of being a LinkedIn Influencer and shares his unique recruitment insights with LinkedIn’s global audience.”

This year HROOT focused more of the criteria of their awards on the value an organisation has added to their industry. “At Hays, our thought-leadership provides our clients and candidates with unique insights to make the right hiring decisions and it enhances our customer experience,” said Simon.

As for where the recruitment industry will go next, Simon says it will continue to evolve towards a provider of overall talent acquisition solutions that benefit the effectiveness of a whole business.

“We’re starting to see a move towards full service providers who can deliver a complete package that combines global best practice with local market intelligence,” says Simon.

“Recruitment outsourcing is definitely going through a revolution, and through our Hays Talent Solutions business we are leading the market in embracing the next generation of outsourcing solutions.

“Through Hays Talent Solutions we deliver intelligent resourcing and build strong relationships as trusted partners. We embed within our clients’ organisations to truly understand their culture and needs. This commitment has helped us deliver an outstanding service for some of the world’s biggest companies.

“Continued investment in technology, be it our use of Candidate Relationship Management through multiple web based channels or our ground-breaking social media collaboration, ensures we are constantly upgrading our talent attraction, engagement and management capability on both a macro and micro level.

“This is one of the industry's most exciting and fastest growing services, and it will be interesting to watch its growth in the years ahead,” says Simon.

For more on the HROOT awards, please visit

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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